Guest writer Liat Ginsberg is a mother and former journalist for the Israeli newspaper, Maariv. She has taught at the Film and Media Department at Hunter College.
Before you bring your kids to new play The Very Hungry Caterpillar, created by Jonathan Rockefeller and based on the books written by Eric Carle, you have to prepare them that the show is about four different books which The Very Hungry Caterpillar is the last of those books. If not, your kids are going to drive you crazy asking tirelessly, “Where is the hungry caterpillar?”
The four books are: The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, The very lonely firefly, Mister Seahorse, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
About the The Very Hungry Caterpillar
In The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, the first thing you’ll notice is the bright colors. The audience is guided to pay attention to every color on the stage through the blank white stage. Even the puppeteers’ wear uniforms of white overalls. You will feel as if you are in a field of snow with colorful creatures walking graciously. The colors and the puppets look just like in the book.
Kids learn colors and use of their imagination. Each time the music changed we tried to guess what animal the artist would draw next: the green lion, pink rabbit, black polar bear, purple fox, or orange elephant who were made from puppets and walked gracefully on the stage.
My daughter noticed that the actor did not really draw the pictures and said enthusiastically, “I saw him, he did not draw the picture, that was pretend, he just turned the page”. Luckily, she only whispered it.
For toddlers, it was magical, most kids in the audience were glued to the stage, the colors, gentle music, the soft voices of the actors, the familiarity of the pictures and very slow movements made it familiar and interesting.
In Mister Seahorse, we are introduced to many nurturing sea creatures fathers, as if the seahorses came to teach us that fathers are as caring as mothers.
In The Very Lonely Firefly, a newly hatched lonely firefly takes us on his journey in the dark to seek friendship. It’s not easy for toddlers to find friends, not to mention adults.
And then begins the familiar caterpillar story we have hungrily waited for.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar travels through the days of the week expanding his diet and his size. Soon he isn’t a little caterpillar any more.The younger kids were mesmerized, the older kids, who forgot the details of the book guessed which fruit the caterpillar ate next. The blueberries were very popular.
The play was very true to the books. It’s also great for a first theater event, good for babies and their older siblings who like to show off how much they know.
The show is playing from now to 3/27: Saturday at 11am & 2pm; Sunday 12pm & 3pm at 304 West 47th Street.
Disclosure: Tickets were complimentary to facilitate this review.